Homers surge 58% at Triple-A with switch to big league ball

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              FILE - In this May 7, 2019, file photo, Round Rock designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, who leads the Triple-A league with 13 home runs, swings at a pitch in Papillion Neb. Home runs surged 58% at Triple-A this season following the switch this year to major league baseballs. A total of 5,752 homers were hit in the International and Pacific Coast Leagues, up from 3,652 in 2018. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
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Home runs surged 58% at Triple-A this season following the switch to major league baseballs.

According to the organization that governs the minors, 5,752 homers were hit in the International and Pacific Coast Leagues. That’s up from 3,652 in 2018.

Rawlings provides baseballs for the majors and minors. The big league balls are manufactured in Costa Rica, the minor league balls in China.

Big league batters are on pace to break the season home run record next week with 2½ weeks remaining in the season.

Home runs rose 57% in the International League, from 1,555 to 2,440, and 58% in the Pacific Coast League, from 2,097 to 3,312.

Long balls dropped in nine of 14 leagues from Double-A down, where China-manufactured balls were used.

There were drops at all three top-level Class A leagues: 908 from 976 in the California League (7, 820 from 886 in the Carolina League (7%) and 896 from 954 in the Florida State League (6%). There were 6% decreases in both lower full-season Class A leagues: 1,298 from 1,388 in the Midwest League and 1,266 from 1,348 in the South Atlantic League.

Among the short-season Class A leagues, home runs rose 5% in the New York-Penn League (500 from 475) and fell 19% in the Northwest League (348 from 432).

At rookie ball, homers rose 7% in the Appalachian League (547 from 510), 2% in the Pioneer League (518 from 506) and 25% in the Arizona League (620 from 402), and dropped 6% in the Gulf Coast League (393 from 416).